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Money belt or not?

Old Mar 8th, 2011, 12:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 223
Money belt or not?

My husband and I will be in Zermatt, Milan, Cinque Terre, Rome, Split, Dubrovnik, Plitvice, Ljubljana and Bled in May. We are debating about the need of a money belt. We have never used one before and after reading previous threads about the topic, we can't decide. We would never use one anywhere in the US so what do you guys think? Neither one of us have traveled overseas in 8 years and then we were both in large tour groups. This time we are traveling alone.

We have a backpack we will use for most days and I will carry an over the shoulder Baggallini purse. We will need cash for the apartment stays, in addition to our everyday cash. Can we carry copies of our passports or do you carry the actual passport with you?
europe2011 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
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I don't think that they are necessary....really uncomfortable and awkward. Only time I had stuff stolen was the only time I wore one;slipped the belt off when resting because I was uncomfortable and, guess what, walked off without it. I prefer to go with my usual routine as I'm less likely to be/look awkward.
alihutch is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I don't do anything different when I'm traveling in Europe from what I do at home. If I wore a money belt, I'd probably do something like alihutch did, just because it wouldn't be a normal part of my routine.

Many people won't leave home without one, though.
StCirq is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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If you have looked at some of the previous threads, then you already know there isn't an absolute answer one way or the other. In contrast to Alihutch's experiences with them, I use one all the time when traveling and never notice I am wearing it.

The important thing is to have some plan to protect yourself against pickpockets.
glenmd is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Never use them, but for my upcoming trip to Africa I have pants with zippered pocket.
If you are as aware as you are in any big city you will be fine. I also do not bring or carry around large amounts of cash, just enough out of ATM for a few days.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 12:38 PM
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Watch for pickpockets getting on or off a train or bus. They bump you while they or an accomplice pick your pocket.
Don't carry a large amount of money in a wallet or backpack.
Use an ATM card in the daytime with lots of people around.
I carry my passport in a cloth zippered case hanging from a cord around my neck under my shirt. You could keep some money inside the passport case.
Even if it is uncomfortable, carry your wallet in a front pants pocket.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 12:53 PM
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Just keep your wits about you. I've never seen anyone pickpocketed or experienced it myself. As StCirq says, I just do what I do at home.
alihutch is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 12:58 PM
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I have seen two purses snatched. They were not worn across the body. Both were in Nice. I have talked with people who have been pick-pocketed on the train while sleeping in a seat. Both could have been prevented.
scatcat is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 12:59 PM
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I don't use one but you mentioned

<We will need cash for the apartment stays>

How much cash are you talking about having on your person at any one time?
suze is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 01:29 PM
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This works well for MDH. He hooks it on his belt and flips it inside of his pants.

He also loves these pants with a hidden zipper pocket inside of the normal front pocket. I have the ladies version.

Except for "in transit", I never carry a purse. I did have one stollen. I put my credit card and money in my front, tight jean pocket. I also carry a photo copy of my passport.

I also use the neck wallet on occassion.

Have a wonderful trip.
TPAYT is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:15 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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If you can afford it or can replace the cash easily, or replace your documents without interferring with your vacation time and pleasure, then go for it, but do remember you'll never meet the pickpocket who just runined your vacation because they are professionals and can spot an easy mark in the middle of Saint Peters Square or the train terminal from a mile away, which is where they will be by the time you realize you've been had. I always take precautions and one of them is to wear a pouch around the waist and under the belt, with only the days spending money in my tight front pocket or inside jacket pocket. Take some precautions and have a great vacation.
PS: Do not put anything of value in your backpack. A sharp razor or knife and you'll never know the items are gone until you get to where you are going.
LBev769375 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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I always wear a money belt while traveling, even in countries where it's unlikely that my pocket will be picked. I hardly know it's there, as it's under my shirt.

A case in point: For the first and only time in our travels together, one evening in Barcelona my sister gave me her passport and ATM card to put in my money belt, and that was the very night when a clever thief pretending to be a waiter made off with her purse.

She didn't even know her purse was gone until I saw the "waiter" round the corner out of the restaurant. The only thing she lost was a camera.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:23 PM
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I also use a money belt when I travel for stashing extra cash and credit cards, as well as my passport and plane ticket back. Normally, it all sits in a baggie inside the money belt so sweat stays off things.

I just keep things I plan to use for that day's sightseeing in an exterior pocket.

Like glenmd says above, some like them and some don't. Up to you.
bachslunch is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:29 PM
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I wear jeans usually and I always carry my wallet in one of my front pockets. I figure if I have a really difficult time getting it out, then no pick-pocket will be able to. In all of my trips, I have only had two times where someone tried to open one of my carry bags. Since they are all both zippered and velcro closed, it is really tough to do, as the velcro sound cannot be disguised and requires a substantial tug.

In one instance a miscreant on a metro in Rome tried to do the zipper, but I caught him and doing a nice thumb twist probably reduced his dexterity for several days.

daveesl is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 03:58 PM
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The problem I have with money belts, pouches, etc. is that unless it is winter and I am wearing thick clothing, they are visible under my clothes. Most clothing styles, esspecially for women, are rather close-fitting. Sort of defeats the purpose.

The strap around my neck is visible as is the pouch itself through a thin blouse or tee.

A money belt - the pouch is also visible (think pantylines, only from the pouch on the small of my back).
november_moon is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 04:25 PM
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I would recommend it just because you are talking about carrying cash for the apartment. Remember that you will be jet-lagged.
RainyDay09 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 04:30 PM
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I see no need for them - as long as you use normal caution. Have been to europe 70+ times - with either my regular shoulder purse or a sportsac - and never had any problem.

A backpack should NEVER hold valuables - since anything in it can easily be stolen (it's BEHIND you and you can;t see it). You just need to keep all valuables in a purse or bag that you never take your hands off of in public (even in hotel breakfast room/dining rooms and certainly in restaurants) - just like at home.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 06:53 AM
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I still say it has to do with the amount of money you are carrying at any one time. If we are talking a few hundred, I don't think they are mandatory and would use my regular system (purse, wallet, whatever). =But if we are talking a few thousand (as for apartment payment) I think some kind of extra security for the cash is well worth considering.
suze is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 07:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
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i usualy put my worthy belongings into a belly bag and hang it across my chest over the shoulder... like that you have the zipper of the bag on chest hight so you have allways good access and its considerabely harder to pick... in adition, in places with a lot of people or where you see a risk to be picked, you can let it slip under your armpit and apply some pressure to it and therefore secure it even more...
in all my trips, this has served me best...
travelzomg is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We do use them, normally we try to minimize ATM withdrawals while traveling, so we have more cash on hand than when we're home. Find them lightweight, very inexpensive - less than $10 at Target, we keep excess cash, credit cards, passports and anything important we don't want to lose or misplace. Once it's on and under your clothing I don't notice it at all.
Suspaul is offline  

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